Friday, January 11, 2013
our time in rockford
After our time in Minnesota, we spent a week in Rockford, Illinois visiting with some of Jim's family. It was such a great time! I had only met Jim's mom Becky and brother Sam a couple of times before (at graduation and then again at the wedding), so it was so good to get to spend a whole week with them. And lucky for me, Sam comes with a lovely wife, Janna, (another sister! score!) and two precious children, Annika and Alex.
We spent our first night in town sharing a delicious meal with everyone, chatting, and eventually settling in by the fire to drink peppermint tea, and watch Chocolat. Becky has excellent taste in movies, and we spent a lot of time watching a few of her favorites--Chocolat, The Artist, Les Choristes, and Rustler's Rhapsody. Les Choristes is now my new favorite movie! It is beautiful. You should absolutely look it up...and then watch Chocolat, too while you're at it. Everyone in it, and everything about it is just beautiful.
Over the next few days, we spent a lot of time out at Sam and Janna's place, sledding, meeting their chickens (!), exploring, and sharing more delicious meals. They treated us to a beautiful New Year's Eve celebration, and though James and I didn't make it to midnight, it was fun to almost ring in 2013 surrounded by loved ones. Next year, sleepiness will not win! :)
We also got the chance to babysit Annika and Alex for a full day while Sam and Janna headed back to work. We had a blast! We played, painted, made pretzels (thus, setting off the smoke detector...oopsies), and watched Beauty and the Beast. It was a perfectly fun day. The kids and James also surprised me with that awesome elephant diorama above. Isn't that the greatest?? So far, I love being "Aunt Haley."
Rockford is a hub of Swedish culture (and also the home of the sock monkey!), so one morning, Becky and Jim's Aunt Ginny took us out for Swedish pancakes. Oh my goodness, so delicious. They are thin and crepe-like, super buttery, and we topped ours with lingonberries--to die for! This was such a nice morning, getting the chance to just chat with Becky and Ginny a bit. So lucky to get to know them.
We also got the chance to go through Jim's baby books! Yay!! And, wasn't he the cutest? I can't get over how blonde he used to be! It was a blast going through all of the old photos...getting the chance to peek into his past a bit (especially the parts of the past where he wore awesomely huge glasses...I kind of wish those were still around ;) )
Jim's whole family has been so welcoming and kind. I feel very lucky to have such wonderful in-laws.
oh, and, by the way...we stopped at Culver's on our drive from Minnesota to Illinois, and let me just say...I think Culver's wins my heart. Yes. I think I like it even more than In n Out. I know, I know! But I mean...a sourdough melt, custard shake, and fried cheese curds? Not sure what could be better than that.